New Apple maps app under fire from users


Rory Cellan-Jones compares Apple's new map app with Google maps

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Inaccuracies and misplaced towns and cities in Apple's new map software have provoked anger from users.

In June Apple announced it would stop using Google Maps in favour of its own system, created using data from navigation firm TomTom and others.

Apple is yet to comment on the complaints about the software, which comes already installed on the new iPhone.

TomTom said it provided only data and was not responsible for how it worked.

The software is packaged with iOS6, the latest version of Apple's operating system, which runs on the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

Previously, the system had an app running mapping software from Google.

But users are now forced to use Apple's new maps once they upgrade or buy the latest iPhone - which goes on sale on Friday.

There is not currently a Google Maps app available in Apple's App Store, although Google's system is still accessible via the phone's web browser.

Museum in river

Among the user complaints regarding Apple's maps sent to the BBC were:

Screenshots of satellite coverage in Dingwall Users have complained about the quality of satellite images in the new software (bottom)
  • Some towns appear to be missing, such as Stratford-upon-Avon and Solihull.
  • Others, like Uckfield in East Sussex, are in the wrong location.
  • Satellite images of various locations, particularly in Scotland, are obscured by cloud.
  • A search for Manchester United Football Club directs users to Sale United Football Club, a community team for ages five and above.
  • Users also reported missing local places, such as schools, or strange locations. Another screenshot showed a furniture museum that was apparently located in a river.

The Twitter account which posted the screenshot, @fake_iOS6maps, has since been suspended.

TomTom, which also licenses data to a range of other mobile manufacturers, defended its involvement.

A spokesman told the BBC that its maps provided only a "foundation" to the service.

"The user experience is determined by adding additional features to the map application such as visual imagery," a spokesman said.

"User experience fully depends on the choices these manufacturers make.

"We are confident about our map quality, as selling 65 million portable navigation devices across the world and more than 1.4m TomTom apps for iPhone in the past two years reaffirms this quality."

Prior to the release of iOS6, several developers had expressed concerns over the capability of the mapping app, in particular its ability to find businesses via search.

Spot the difference

"This is incredibly different from using Google Maps," one Denver-based blogger wrote on 13 September.

"It's a tremendous step backwards and something that cripples iOS for Apple's customers.

"I [searched] 'iPhone Repair' and 'iPad Repair' since that's relevant to our business. The results broke my heart.

"All of the work I've put into our local recognition is completely gone."


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  • rate this

    Comment number 844.

    Whats wrong with people. Its different. Google will bring their own app out soon enough. I used the turn by turn navigation, works fine. 3D maps are great. I'm happy :-)

  • rate this

    Comment number 843.

    Apple's map app in iOS6 is a complete and utter let-down. It's so bad it's going to place a big noose around Apple's neck. I've loved Apple's hardware and software for over 20 years and I've never been so moved to really slate the company in the way that I want to now. If this is a sign of life after Steve Jobs then god help Apple - and its merry band of faithful followers like myself.

  • rate this

    Comment number 842.

    I found this site posting Apple fails

    Sone of the fails are quite funny!

  • rate this

    Comment number 841.

    wow rather surprised that they have clearly released an alpha product lol

  • rate this

    Comment number 840.

    The Twitter account is back :D

  • rate this

    Comment number 839.

    Just adding my voice to the storm of discontent about Apple maps.
    I just fail to understand how its possible that these problems wouldn't get picked up within 5 minutes of beta testing or whatever UAT Apple has. One can only surmise that they released in full knowledge of these problems - but under pressure of competition. Either way, this is an epic fail. Far worse than antenna-gate. Shocking.

  • rate this

    Comment number 838.

    remember when everyone hated google street cars for invading privacy and gettin on our internet? i guess it was worth it after all?

  • rate this

    Comment number 837.

    @834 DaveH
    I don't think launching the web browser to look at a map is the point.
    When I click someone's address in my address book, I want to see a picture of where it actually is, not two miles down the road like Apple seems to think it is (according to some BBC readers - I'm not daft enough to try it in light of the anecdotes!)
    When I click the location link on a web page, I want it to be right

  • rate this

    Comment number 836.

    I work in an office full of Apple fanboys. They are GUTTED that they can no longer find the nearest MacDonalds using their iPhones, and have to ask me (Android user) to verify all their map results ...

  • rate this

    Comment number 835.

    I think 832.Jason has hit the nail on the head.
    Unfortunately, it's the same lifestyle junkies that buy Apple products that review them.
    I recently read a apple monitor review. The only adjustment was a 10 degree tilt which recieved a minor mention. Any other make would be slated if it couldnt tilt, swivel, rise up and down. Needless to say it receiced a rave review. Obviously biased.

  • rate this

    Comment number 834.

    Apple didn't block Google at all, the app just made it a bit easier to pull exactly the same data from the web.

    Google maps 1 wasn't close to where it is today, and the licence from Google to have the Apple app on previous OS version had expired, I am not sure they had any choice.

    That said, launch the web browser, it is there, just a few more clicks is the suffering you all have to bear...

  • rate this

    Comment number 833.

    I don't use iphones, ipads or ipods and I have no desire to. I am quite fed-up with these IT companies forever trying to out-compete and shaft one-another, always at the customer's expense.

  • rate this

    Comment number 832.


    Evidently you dont have the IQ to realise this isnt about getting to work or driving, But everything to do with the Apple brand and its moto

    "It just works"

    When a company of apples size and reputation starts releasing inferior products that dont "just work" then its worthy of discussion

    Or maybe you have spent the last 20 years being too rude to move with the times

  • Comment number 831.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this

    Comment number 830.

    Try doing a search for old Trafford as Manchester United football club is not a location but a team takes you straight there not hard is it

  • rate this

    Comment number 829.


    I must rush out and buy one of the smallest phones on the market that does not work properly, costs more than other phones, is tied up to the makers market place, but has room for an extra row of apps.


  • rate this

    Comment number 828.

    When I first used the app in Birmingham, I though '3D view looks great' before the novelty wore off. Going around town I found that when using the direction view function to show on the map the direction I am looking, I found that the view was off by 90 degrees. Losing streetview it is a sour point though s it was useful. its a pity that the rest of ios6 looks really good, including a smarter siri

  • rate this

    Comment number 827.

    @546 Maybe you should look at the map & directions again, as it is correct in that image (the route is going from right to left & is the 4th exit onto horn hill (on the left)).
    As for the rest of iOS6 & the maps, yes it is terrible & SIRI is no better as it tells me the nearest KFC/McDonalds/etc are at least 18 miles away (even when parked in the car park!!!)

  • rate this

    Comment number 826.

    guffhaw! big time, whats the point of maps................ its like middle management is in charge of the dept, and make a decision!

    tea anyone

  • rate this

    Comment number 825.

    Warn!ng - !f you use the letter '!', you r!sk legal act!on to fund (f!nd?) Apple's struggl!ng R&D dept


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